Steve Simels
August 02, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

American Graffiti

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
110 minutes
performer
Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Harrison Ford, Mackenzie Phillips, Suzanne Somers, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack
director
George Lucas
Producer
Francis Ford Coppola
distributor
MCA, Universal
author
Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, George Lucas

We gave it an A

Time plays tricks even on masterpieces, and so it is with George Lucas’ breakthrough hit. American Graffiti remains a sharply written, beautifully acted pre-Beatles coming-of-age piece featuring soon-to-be-household names (Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford). But you may also be distracted, since the romantic leads (Ron Howard, Cindy Williams) went on to star in Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (both of which ripped off American Graffiti big time). Still, if that doesn’t bother you, this wide-screen version looks and sounds just great, and the period touches are as evocative as ever. Most poignant scene: Dreyfuss and Wolfman Jack talking alone in a radio station. Best line: ”Get your cooties off of me!” A

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